Giuliani: We have 'moral obligation' to protect Ukraine

Former NYC mayor weighs in on crisis


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 3, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, with Ukraine tensions surging, the West finds itself scrambling ahead of Secretary of State John Kerry's trip to Kiev on Tuesday, the administration making it very clear it could hit Russia in the wallet.

But will that be enough?

To former Republican presidential candidate, America's mayor, Rudy Giuliani.

Mayor, the president is obviously getting ready for either sanctions or to kick Russia out of the G8.


CAVUTO: You argue too little too late. Right?

RUDY GIULIANI, R-FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Putin decides what he wants to do and he does it in half-a-day. Right? He decided he had to go to their parliament. He went to their parliament. He got permission in 15 minutes.

CAVUTO: Well, I mean, that was kind of like perfunctory, right?


GIULIANI: But he makes a decision and he executes it quickly. Then everybody reacts. That is what you call a leader.

President Obama, got to think about it, he's got to go over it again, he's got to talk to more people about it. So, we're going through the whole like Syria thing again, right? First, we were going to do something to Syria. Then he was going to act on his own. Then he was going to get congressional approval. Then he wanted the U.K., U.K. said no. Then it looked like Congress was going to say no. Then he was going to go anyway. Then he decided not to do it. And, finally, after five or six days of wringing his hands and thinking and thinking and thinking, he brings Putin in and makes Putin a hero out of Syria.


CAVUTO: But do you think that -- that George Bush was any different dealing when -- the Georgia incursions? There's only so much you can do. That's the rap you get when people say, look, if you're dealing with a crazy guy...


CAVUTO: ... who just wants to be bellicose and militant, a normal, rational person is going to try to respond in a normal, rational way. But what are you saying You don't, or what do you do?

GIULIANI: Well, I -- I'm not sure that President Bush exactly -- did exactly the right thing in Georgia, either. I'm not sure he supported our interests as strongly as he could.

You could make a few distinctions. That's the first time they did it, rather than the second time. The second time, you have to act even more strongly. Georgia is less significant, although important, for...

CAVUTO: Right.

GIULIANI: ... in terms of freedom and democracy and supporting it, than the Ukraine.

People forget we have a treaty with the Ukraine. The United States and the U.K. have a treaty that goes back to 1980 -- I'm sorry -- '92, '93.

CAVUTO: But treaties are made to be broken.

GIULIANI: The United States -- countries that don't follow their treaties, yes, are dishonorable countries.

So, we have the U.K., and we have the U.S. promised that we would protect the Ukraine against Soviet Russian invasion because remember what Ukraine did. It gave up its nuclear weapons. Ukraine gave up its ability to defend itself against Russia. And it put its trust in the United States of America. So, it isn't just a free ride here. We have a moral obligation to protect them.

CAVUTO: But what does that -- what does that moral obligation mean? I mean, I -- troops are out, I guess.

GIULIANI: Well, well, first of all...

CAVUTO: But what would they be -- what would be first on the table for you?

GIULIANI: First of all, you don't announce the troops are out. You don't -- you don't look as frightened as he and Kerry looked about the idea of troops and expect you're going to have any leverage.

Even if troops are out, hey, how about we don't give that away before we even start. First thing he should have done is, he should have sent Kerry to Poland and to the Czech Republic, and he should have signed the nuclear defense treaty for both those countries, which he gave away the first day he came in office in order to reset his relationship with Russia, because it reset his relationship with Russia and it put Russia in charge and the United States number two.

Everyone knows how frightened for 30 years since Ronald Reagan they are of a nuclear defense shield. He should have reinstated that nuclear defense shield and all of a sudden he would have pushed Putin back about 20 -- 20 yards. Then they should have thrown them out of the G8. We shouldn't be debating, are we going to go to the G8...

CAVUTO: But maybe they're hoping, Mayor -- I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm trying to think of what is in their mind. And maybe they're hoping, all right, the Russian market tumbled 10 percent today. That would be like our Dow dropping 1,600 points.


CAVUTO: The ruble collapsed. And maybe, given his own bellicose talk, he is hurting himself and that it's going to fall on him, his bellicose actions. So let -- let him implode on his own.

What do you say to that?

GIULIANI: Maybe. Maybe. Possibly. Could be.

You're in charge. He just invaded a country that we have an obligation to protect, a country we want to bring over to the West. We don't wait for maybe, maybe, possibly and it could happen. That's not being a leader. What we do is, we act, we act swiftly, we act decisively, and we change the -- we change equation here with this man.

Instead of him pushing us around, we push him around. That's the only thing a bully understands. The only thing a bully understands is someone standing up to him, getting into his face and saying you want to play this game? We're going to make life so difficult for you, it's not going to be worth it.

CAVUTO: But that's what gets hits out on you. Right?

Now I'm hearing, in your case, there's a -- the mob wanted to knock you off for $800,000.

GIULIANI: Yes. Well, maybe if you're not willing to do that, you don't put 200 mafia guys in jail and change the nature of the mafia. A lot of people were prosecuting the mafia for 20 years.

CAVUTO: But 800 grand, how did they screw that up?


CAVUTO: And then later on, it was -- you were to, what, 400 grand.

GIULIANI: I was in office about a year, year-and-a-half, the Sicilian mafia put out a hit on me. The FBI caught them, went away, $800,000 hit.

Last year I was in office, Carmine "The Snake" Persico put out a hit on me because I had put him in jail for 100 years.

CAVUTO: Right.

GIULIANI: And he was really angry because I put him jail for another 100 years and he put out a hit on me for $400,000.

And I -- and I said, this is really annoying. Five years of work, 200 people in jail in the United States, 1,000 I helped put in jail in Italy. I helped to crush the mafia, to a great extent, and my value goes down by 100 percent. Great.

CAVUTO: There's no justice.

GIULIANI: There's absolutely no justice.

CAVUTO: But you're alive and well and you're here, and we're happy to see that.


CAVUTO: Rudy Giuliani, thank you very, very much.

GIULIANI: Thank you.


CAVUTO: Either way, you're worth millions.


CAVUTO: I don't know to bump off, but just to talk about.

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